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Government payments, market profits and structural change in agriculture

Antti Simola ()
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Antti Simola: VATT Institute for Economic Research

Journal of Evolutionary Economics, 2018, vol. 28, issue 4, 837-857

Abstract: Abstract I analyze the interaction of two institutions, markets and public policies, and their effect on structural change in agriculture. More specifically, I consider how subsidies affect functioning of input and output markets, and the selection of business strategies within them. The main hypothesis is that subsidies affect these markets differently, and that allows rent-seeking that hinders the overall productivity of the sector. I apply a replicator dynamics model for the task. I test my hypothesis with the EU’s 2003 CAP reform. The data is comprehensive microdata of Finnish grain and oilseed farms for years the 2004–2013. In order to examine distributional level shifts, I use quantile regression techniques. I find that the policy incentives have directed sectoral change more strongly than market incentives and have thus significantly affected production decisions. The subsidies have also attenuated the market signals and therefore increased sectoral inefficiency. The reform that aimed to improve market orientation has had little effect. The reform has affected structural change in input and output markets differently. While land use adjustment has become more rigid for all the farms, especially the more market oriented ones have been able to exploit increased output market flexibility. However, the negative effects are more prominent in total and the net effect of the reform was negative.

Keywords: Agricultural policy; Decoupled subsidies; Evolutionary economics; Fisher’s principle; Quantile regression (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: B52 C21 D02 D22 Q18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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